Pennsylvania: Injured Worker’s Participation in Employer’s “Special Attrition Plan” Causes a Loss in Disability Benefits

Evidence that an injured worker attended his employer’s “Attrition Plan” meeting and signed forms related to the employer’s “Special Attrition Plan,” that provided for, among other things, a lump sum payment to the worker of $35,000, was evidence that the worker had voluntarily withdrawn from the workforce, held the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently in Krushauskas v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (General Motors), 2012 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 291 (Oct. 11, 2012). Accordingly, the burden shifted to the worker to demonstrate that he was seeking employment or that his work-related injury had forced him to retire. In as much as the worker testified that he was not seeking employment, and since the WCJ rejected his testimony as not credible that he retired because of his work-related injury, the WCJ’s findings were appropriately affirmed.

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